If not us, then who?

PB works author opens his entry with “never again”. Never again were the words that rang from members of previous genocides. The pain too heavy, the situations to extreme to ever happen in society today. It’s what my eighth grade class of 2008 believed when we studied the Jewish Holocaust . And yet just days ago three suicide bombers killed dozens of innocent bystanders in Syria. And yet, refugee camps bust with overpopulation of families fleeing their country at the risk of witnessing the same conditions we learn about in our history books, in 2016.

Privilege is something that is hard to grapple with, and after realizing that these nightmares are occurring today, it seems like nonsense to get mad at situations such as a car breaking down or being late to a meeting. Just as these awful situations are still occurring today, so is the guilt of privilege. At times I wonder, why even bother. The situation is on such a large scale, what can I do about it?

PB works answers this question with another question:

“If not us, then who?”

The purpose of this article is to highlight the reason why we study genocide with the aim of giving readers hope for a brighter future. Simply put, he explains that by learning about the injustices that have occurred in the past we can prevent future genocides. Not as one, but together. We will never have a perfect world, but in the end we hope for a place that is better because we were here.

From the book, The Impossible Will Take a Little While, Nelson Mandela speaks of the constant uphill climb to injustice:

“I have walked a long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have missteps along the way. But I have discovered the great secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”

We must remember that this uphill climb though seemingly impossible; seemingly never-ending, is worth taking.

 

-Carrie

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